Monday, December 29, 2014

Lost and (not yet) found

Recently I posted the history of JGrass-NewAGE, and I was wondering where the old material of JGrass-NewAGE version 0 was. All was more than prototypical and quite operative (with maybe some flaws in the science) and  worth to remain  alive. Wasn't the use of OMS etc. looking to some reproducibility and maintainability ?
Finally I recovered in my HD the part of the documentation of that version which can be downloaded from here (unfortunately is in Italian).

The database developed in PostgreSQL/PostGIS referred in the "manual" was found stored in a computer accessible trough the password "idrologia", and we are going to see if it is still usable and extendable. Actually, as apparent from my previous post, most of the components of the project can be considered obsolete, enhanced by those available with JGrass-NewAGE version 1. However, at least one component is still missing, and I hope to be able to get it back on-line: the one integrating the de Saint-Venant Equation in 1-D. It was actually saved in a public repository (so, it should be), but the repository was changed, and not maintained anymore. So people have to look at old backups to get it back.

Lessons learned: 1 - there should be an explicit will to maintain old stuff (quite an obvious conclusion) and not to make it vanish as vapour in summer. 2 - Even if the project was produced as Open Source, if it is not maintained, or at least left in a public site which is maintained unaltered, the effort is meaningless.   Useful stuff can be easily lost. 3 - Data can be lost even easier than software. A repository - Github-like for data should be mandatory. We'll see what we can do.

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